Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy on Friday announced that he and his entire immediate family have tested positive for Covid-19.
Murthy, his wife Alice and their five-year-old son, all of whom are vaccinated and boosted, fell ill several days after his four-year-old daughter did, the Surgeon General said in a series of tweets.
Murthy and his wife have "mild symptoms" like headache, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches and chills, with no breathing issues.
"You want to comfort them when they’re unwell. That often requires being close physically. We’d make that choice again, but I feel for those who struggle to balance protecting themselves with caring for family," Murthy said.
Murthy said his five-year-old son has "a runny nose and low grade fever but is otherwise eating, drinking, playing with his sister, and watching his favorite cartoons."
His four year old's fevers are "improving," and Murthy said "she's still smiling and playing with her arts and crafts."
"We've tried to be safe but it's tough when your kids are sick," Murthy wrote. "You want to comfort them when they're unwell. That often requires being close physically. We'd make that choice again, but I feel for those who struggle to balance protecting themselves with caring for family."
Murthy said getting Covid "can be frustrating and disappointing" and "a source of shame" if you feel "you've been as safe as you can."
"Our safety measures reduce risk but they can’t eliminate risk. Nothing can," Murthy wrote.
After announcing his daughter tested positive on Feb. 15, Murthy said he asked himself: "Will my child be ok? Could I have done more to protect her? Was this my fault? In these moments, it doesn't matter if you're a doctor or Surgeon General. We are parents first."
Murthy admitted then it was already "pretty tough" keeping his five- and four-year-old siblings separated and isolated from one another.
"Which is why I am grateful that my son, my wife and I are all vaccinated. Even if we do contract the virus, it's unlikely to cause severe illness because we have protection."